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Villette, Charles, Marquis De

VILLETTE, CHARLES, MARQUIS DE (1736-1793), French writer and politician, was born in Paris on the 4th of December 1736, the son of a financier who left him a large fortune and the title of marquis. After taking part in the Seven Years' War, young Villette returned in 1763 to Paris, where he made many enemies by his insufferable manners. But he succeeded in gaining the intimacy of Voltaire, who had known his mother and who wished to make a poet of him. The old philosopher even went so far as to call his protege the French Tibullus. In 1777, on Voltaire's advice, Villette married Mademoiselle de Varicourt, but the marriage was unhappy, and his wife was subsequently adopted by Voltaire's niece, Madame Denis. During the Revolution Villette publicly burned his letters of nobility, wrote revolutionary articles in the Chronique de Paris, and was elected deputy to the Convention by the department of Seine-et-Oise. He had the courage to censure the September massacres and to vote for the imprisonment only, and not for the death, of Louis XVI. He died in Paris on the 7th of July 1793.

In 1784 he published his (Euvres, which are of little value, and in 1792 his articles in the Chronique de Paris appeared in book form tinder the title Lettres choisies sur les principaux evenements de la Revolution.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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